The know-it-alls of men's basketball -- coaches and select media -- put their numbers and notes together this weekend and came up with the Big Ten's elite men's basketball players. Near the top of the list was freshman forward Jared Jeffries, who was unanimously chosen Big Ten Freshman of the Year.\nWith a tattoo that reads, "King of the Court" and the best numbers of any freshman in the Big Ten, there was little doubt of Jeffries' confidence or talent. But if IU interim head coach Mike Davis had the last word, there's no question junior center Kirk Haston would've been named Player of the Year, an honor that went to Illinois sophomore guard Frank Williams. \nBut Haston, the conference's leading scorer, was recognized. He was named Big Ten Player of the Week for a league-high fourth time this season and unanimously earned first-team All-Big Ten honors. The coaches voted Jeffries to the second team, while the media voted him to the third team.\n"I'm really happy with Haston and Jeffries' selections," Davis said Monday. "They carried us this year. They played awfully well. I'm also happy with the way we're playing right now as a basketball team. Our confidence is high."\nJeffries led all Big Ten freshmen in scoring (14.5 points per game), rebounding (7.9) and blocked shots (1.57) this season. The last Hoosier to earn the title was A.J. Guyton in 1997. Jeffries has scored 419 points, which ranks fifth all-time among IU freshmen. Mike Woodson holds the record with 500 points.\nHaston, also following Guyton's path, finished the regular season as the conference's leading scorer with an average of 20.3 points per game. He scored his 13th double-double of the season Saturday, leading IU with 22 points and 15 rebounds against the Boilermakers. Haston has scored in double digits in each of his last 26 games and has back-to-back double-doubles with 43 points and 29 rebounds in his last two games.\n"I think Haston is the player of the year," Davis said after Saturday's game against Purdue. "Without a doubt because he's carried us. He's brought Jared Jeffries along, who I also think is the freshman of the year. Offensively he's hit shots to win games for us. He's playing great."\nBoth Jeffries and Haston scored career highs in the Hoosiers' 72-59 win Feb. 11 against Michigan. The two combined for 56 points and Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe said Jeffries has improved during the latter half of the season. \n"He's shown the ability to be very versatile on the offensive end -- facing the basket, being able to take people off the dribble, and his size is a wonderful quality," Ellerbe said. "He got a lot better at scoring in the post in the second half of the year. Jared is a special player, and Mike has done a great job of getting him involved in the offense and giving him the opportunity to exploit his abilities."\nHORNSBY HURT\nSophomore guard Kyle Hornsby sprained his right ankle Saturday, but Davis said Hornsby will start Friday against Wisconsin in the Hoosiers' first game of the Big Ten Tournament. Davis said Hornsby is listed as day-to-day but should return to practice Wednesday. X-rays taken Monday did not reveal a break.\nHornsby has started 11 times this season and is averaging 9.3 points per game. He has scored in double digits in seven of those 11 starts, and the Hoosiers are 10-1 in his 10 starts.
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WEST LAFAYETTE -- There is an archaic tradition Purdue fans follow during an IU game: the most productive Hoosier is the target of the most derogatory remarks.\nThe Boilermakers came up with a few creative words to describe IU junior center Kirk Haston, who posted his 13th double-double of the season Saturday in Mackey Arena with 22 points and 15 rebounds.\nHaston led a trio of post players in one of the Hoosiers' most aggressive inside games, as IU pulled down 47 rebounds and scored 13 second-chance points. Haston, freshman forward Jared Jeffries and sophomore forward Jeff Newton combined for 64 percent of the rebounds and\n65 percent of the offense in the Hoosiers' 74-58 win against Purdue.\n"I thought (rebounding) was the biggest key tonight, especially in the first half," Haston said. "(Jeffries) had two or three big tip-ins that would've led to fastbreak buckets for them. We were able to work some more time off the clock and anytime you can control the clock and control the boards, that usually gives you a win."\nThe Hoosiers teetered on a 26-25 lead with 3:50 remaining in the first half when they took off on a 12-1 run. With the exception of a basket from sophomore guard Kyle Hornsby, all of the points in those four minutes came from Haston, Newton and Jeffries.\nThe run started when Purdue junior guard Maynard Lewis fouled Newton and he made the second free throw. On the Hoosiers' next possession, Newton dished an assist to Haston, giving IU a 29-25 lead with 2:42 remaining in the half. \nAnd when Haston was sent to the free-throw line with two minutes remaining, he missed his second shot but Newton was there for the rebound. On the Hoosiers' final possession of the first half, Newton completed a three-point play, increasing the lead to 38-25. Newton scored two points and made three of seven free throws during that stretch. \n"I got on Newton early in the first half because he was just standing around, not going to the glass, and if you don't go, you have no chance of getting the rebound," interim head coach Mike Davis said. "I wanted to rebound the basketball, I wanted to keep them off the free-throw line and I wanted to shoot free throws."\nIU out-rebounded Purdue 24-12 in the first half and blocked five shots, three of which came from Haston. Purdue finished with 33 rebounds and didn't block a shot.\nNewton, who fouled out of the game with 1:54 remaining, finished with 11 points and seven rebounds. The only other time he scored in double digits against the conference this season was against Northwestern.\n"During a timeout (in the first half), Coach told me I had one minute to get an offensive rebound, so I went out and just crashed every time, and I finally got some," Newton said. "Since we have a size advantage, that was one of our main priorities, to go to the boards and go inside."\nDavis said a taller lineup was an advantage on both ends of the court. The Hoosiers outmatched Purdue at every position, with the exception of Kevin Garrity, a 6-foot-11, 255-pound center.\n"I thought our size really affected them," Davis said. "They have really good penetration, but with us being 6-9, 6-10, it was hard for them to shoot over us. Anytime you have 6-9, 6-10 guys who are really attacking the glass when you're playing a small team, it's not easy but you have to go."\nAnd the Hoosiers went, starting the second half off with a steal and a fast break dunk by Jeffries in the first minute. Jeffries finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots. When Jeffries missed a basket at the 16:36 mark, Haston was there to finish the shot with a dunk, giving IU a 46-31 edge. The last time Haston grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds was Jan. 23, when IU faced Purdue in Assembly Hall. \nPurdue coach Gene Keady said the Hoosiers' inside players forced his guys to make hasty decisions, and that the size matchup was a factor.\n"They're pretty dang good," Keady said. "They beat us 24-12 in the first half so they had twice (the rebounds). But we knew that ahead of time, so we shouldn't have shot the ball so quick."\nHOOSIER NOTES\nThe National Association of Basketball Coaches named Haston to the NABC/Chevrolet Division I All-District 10 first team and Jeffries to the second team. The selection is based on votes by member coaches of the NABC and makes the student-athlete eligible for the NABC/Chevrolet Division I All-America Team, which will be announced at the conclusion of the 2000-2001 season. \nHaston leads the Big Ten in scoring with an average of 20.2 points per game, the only player over the 20-point mark. He also ranks second in conference rebounding with 8.7 per game. \nJeffries ranks third in conference rebounding (7.9) and fifth in blocks (1.53). Jeffries leads all Big Ten freshmen in conference scoring, rebounding and blocked shots this season. He also ranks second on the team in points and rebounds.
The final home game of the season is usually dedicated to the seniors on the Hoosier roster, but this team doesn't have any. Instead, IU played like it was the last game in Assembly Hall for interim head coach Mike Davis, whose future at the University remains uncertain.\nThe Hoosiers went out and made a statement about Davis' future. \nIU devastated Minnesota 89-53 before a crowd of 17,187, maintaining fourth place in the conference, a game behind third-place Ohio State. \nIt was the Golden Gophers' worst loss of the season as the visitors shot a season-low 27 percent. \n"Right now we're playing really good basketball," Davis said. "Offensively we're really executing well. If we continue this pace, I think we can make some noise in the tournament. Our guys are playing with a lot of confidence and having a lot of fun. I'm more tired than the players are."\nWith less than three minutes remaining in the game, the Hoosiers were ahead 86-53 and four starters were on the bench. It was the second consecutive game IU stretched the lead to 30 points. It was also the most points IU has scored against a conference team this season.\nOffense was generated from every position, something Davis had been looking for since the beginning of the season and found in last weekend's 85-55 win against Wisconsin.\nThe same four players who led the offense against Wisconsin did it again -- freshman forward Jared Jeffries, junior center Kirk Haston and sophomore guards Tom Coverdale and Kyle Hornsby each scored in double digits. Haston led the Hoosiers with 21 points and 14 rebounds, his 12th double-double of the season.\n "This has been pretty fun the last couple of games," Haston said. "(The guards) have really opened up our offense. Once we get our leads, we're not backing off and that's key."\n IU opened with a 13-2 run in the first five minutes and extended the lead to 35-22 by the half. The gap only widened from that point, as the Hoosiers opened the second half with a 10-0 run, giving them a 45-22 lead with 17:21 remaining.\n The Gophers' drought ended when guard Terrance Simmons, who averages 13.8 points per game, scored his only basket of the night at the 16:48 mark. He finished with two points on 1-of-11 from the field.\n Minnesota junior guard Kerwin Fleming led the Gophers with 17 points, but was only 3-of-11 from the field.\n The Hoosiers have been punishing opponents at the line recently. Since the Michigan State game Feb. 20, the Hoosiers have made 25 of 25 free throws, tying a school record set in 1963 against Michigan. A Jeffries miss from the line ended the streak at the 10:58 mark and the Hoosiers finished 29-of-31 from the line for the night.\n"Tonight we stepped up and made free throw after free throw after free throw," Davis said. "I'm proud of these guys. They played well and they played hard and they gave Indiana everything they could give on the basketball court."\nThe Hoosiers will close the regular season 8 p.m. Saturday at Purdue.
It's not like sophomore guard Tom Coverdale has been unproductive lately --he's scored double digits in seven of the last 10 games, and he leads the Hoosiers in assists and steals. \nBut Saturday against Wisconsin, interim head coach Mike Davis said Coverdale was "unbelievable."\nIt was only the second time in Coverdale's career that he surpassed 20 points. The first time was Dec. 5 at Notre Dame, when he scored a career-high 30 points.\nSaturday, Coverdale's game-high 24 points and eight assists led the Hoosiers to an 85-55 win against No. 19 Wisconsin before an Assembly Hall crowd of 17,051. The Noblesville native finished with a career-high 6-of-7 three-point shots.\nJunior forward Kirk Haston said he looked around Assembly Hall to make sure they weren't back in South Bend. \n"He had that look in his eye, and every time he had an open look, before he even released it, everybody knew it was going to go in," Haston said. "That's the same feeling I had at Notre Dame. I was glad to see that fire back in his eye."\nBut it wasn't just Coverdale. Sophomore guard Kyle Hornsby, freshman forward Jared Jeffries and Haston each scored in double digits as the Hoosiers finished with a field-goal percentage of 70.2 on 33-of-47 shooting, good for the fourth-best in school history.\nAnd almost half the IU offense (49.4 percent) came from the guards behind the three-point arc, with Coverdale leading the way. The Hoosiers made 14-of-19 three pointers for 73.7 percent. Hornsby, who said he didn't even eat breakfast that morning, finished with a career-high 5-of-6.\n"Anytime you can beat a ranked team by 30 points it's a lot of fun," Coverdale said. "I definitely felt good during the game after I knocked down a couple of shots. Once you hit a couple shots, it kind of snowballs through the whole team. Kyle got us started off early, and we just kept hitting shots."\nThe Hoosiers were ahead 48-40 when Haston missed a shot with 12:45 remaining. But that was the last missed shot for IU until the 1:58 mark. During that span, the Hoosiers nailed seven three-pointers and two two-point shots for 25 points, extending the IU lead to 78-53.\n"It was exciting. Nobody got down when they missed a shot because they knew the next one would probably go in," Hornsby said. "We were playing good defense, so that wasn't going to get us down because they weren't scoring all that much. So it was a great overall game to be involved in."\nWith three-pointers pouring down from the guards, the pressure lightened on Jeffries and Haston inside. Jeffries finished 8-of-8 from the field for 18 points and Haston, who played one of his better defensive games, finished with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting.\n"We executed well, and it seemed like every time the shot clock was about to expire, somebody hit a tough shot. It was just one of those days," Haston said. "Wisconsin went into the game really focusing on us in the post and our guards really took advantage of it. They were getting a lot of open looks, and they knocked them down." \nThe Hoosiers compiled some of their best statistics against one of the conference's toughest defensive teams. The Badgers lead the conference in scoring defense, allowing 54.8 points per game. Wisconsin also leads the Big Ten in three-point field goal percent defense, allowing opponents to shoot only 27 percent from three-point range.\n"To shoot 70 percent against this team is saying a lot," Davis said. "These guys guard you hard. They contested almost every shot."\nWisconsin's only lead of the game was 4-2, in the first two minutes. The Hoosiers made seven of their first eight shots and went on a 17-2 run, ending the first half with a 38-29 lead. The Badgers crept within six points in the second half, but that was as close as they could get. \nIU held Wisconsin to 33.3 percent shooting in the second half on 8-of-24. Sophomore guard Kirk Penney led the Badgers with 15 points and senior forward Andy Kowske chipped in 13. \nProperly enough, Hornsby made a three-pointer for the last shot of the game.\n"It is a statement game," Hornsby said. "That's not what we were thinking going into it, but when you beat a team that is ranked -- and as good as they are on offense and defense -- it makes a statement on its own"
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Junior center Kirk Haston is the leading scorer in the Big Ten and the Hoosiers' go-to man. He's interim head coach Mike Davis' choice for Big Ten Player of the Year and one of the top post players in the conference. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo recruited Haston and called him the most improved player this season.\nBut it takes more than one man to defeat No. 5 Michigan State, especially when he's playing with four fouls and held scoreless for the last 19 minutes of regulation.\nHaston, who picked up his fourth foul with 8:01 remaining, wasn't enough to overcome the Spartans Tuesday, as IU (16-11, 7-6 Big Ten) fell 66-57 to Michigan State (21-3, 10-3) before a Breslin Center crowd of 14,759. The win extended the Spartans' home winning streak to 43 -- the longest in the nation. It also gave MSU revenge from when IU broke the Spartans' 23-game winning streak Feb. 7 in Assembly Hall.\n"I'm not disappointed in this basketball team; I'm not disappointed in their effort," Davis said. "Tonight (Michigan State) played defense the way they did last year, and that really affected us. We could've easily lost by 35 the way they were playing."\nIt was Haston who nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer Feb. 7, giving IU a 59-58 win against the then-No. 1 Spartans. But Tuesday, the Hoosiers were far from a three-point desperation shot, despite Haston's team-leading 18 points.\nIU was down 12 points with 4:56 remaining. Haston, the only Hoosier to score in double digits, fouled out with two minutes left on the clock. And foul trouble was only the beginning for IU. The Hoosiers' lack of depth didn't help. IU was out-rebounded by 15 in the first half, and Michigan State's defense, which gave IU's inside game trouble, was stifling. The Hoosiers attempted seven shots inside the key.\nSophomore guard Tom Coverdale picked up his fourth foul with 14:47 remaining. Freshman forward Jared Jeffries had three with 13:32 left, and junior guard Dane Fife left the first half with two fouls and 17:08 remaining. \nWith Fife on the bench, the Hoosiers dug themselves into a 33-23 halftime deficit. Freshman center Zach Randolph came off the bench and scored six points in an eight-point Spartan run, giving Michigan State an early 15-6 lead. The Spartans held IU to nine points in the first eight minutes.\nOne of the main differences was productivity from Michigan State's bench, which scored 30 percent (20 points) of the Spartans' offense. Randolph led Michigan State in the first half with nine points. The IU bench scored six first-half points. Haston scored the other 15.\nJeffries, who was held to two points in the first half, was assigned to cover Randolph, who finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. \n"The first game (Feb. 7) the post was a lot more open, but this time, they did a better job of sagging in and having their guards help out," Jeffries said. "Randolph dominated the game inside."\nIU came out on the offensive in the second half, scoring eight consecutive points in the first two minutes to close the gap to 35-31. The Hoosiers would inch within four two more times in the second half, but that was as close as they could get. Michigan State began an 11-2 run at the 9:30 mark when sophomore Jason Richardson sank a free throw. \nThe Spartans had their biggest lead of the game with 2:57 remaining when Randolph hit two free throws to put MSU ahead 63-49. Michigan State went to the free-throw line 31 times compared to IU's nine trips. The Hoosiers were held to 35 percent shooting from the field on 21-of-60.\nThree games remain in the regular season: Wisconsin, Minnesota and Purdue. Fife said the back-to-back losses to Illinois and Michigan State will not be easily forgotten.\n"We need to dwell on these last two losses, because we should've won the games," Fife said. "Coming into the game, we were confident we could win. We're going to take a day off, and then we have to play Wisconsin, and that's a game we need to win. But I'm not looking forward to Wisconsin for a few days, because these last few games we should've won"
After junior center Kirk Haston scored a career-high 30 points in the Feb. 11 win against Michigan, interim head coach Mike Davis said if you take Haston and freshman forward Jared Jeffries out of the Hoosiers' mix, they will have a tough time winning.\nSaturday against a strong Illinois frontcourt, Davis' statement proved correct.\nThe Illini defense dominated the Hoosiers inside, leading to a 67-61 win before a sold-out crowd of 17,460 in Assembly Hall. Illinois forced IU to shoot from the perimeter, but the shots weren't falling, and IU finished 6-of-22 (27 percent) shooting behind the three-point arc. \n"They took away our cuts, took away our post up; we had no open shots," Davis said. "They played so hard, so aggressive. It was tough for us to get any shots. They took away everything for us."\nIllinois has held its opponents to 38.5 percent shooting from the field this season, good for the lowest opponent shooting percentage since the 1955-56 season. Saturday, the Hoosiers finished with a 35.2 shooting percentage on 19-of-54 from the field.\nIllinois coach Bill Self said the game plan was to take Haston and Jeffries out of the game. \n "We realized the strength of our team was with their limited depth inside," Self said. "Coming in, we wanted to trap Kirk on a low block, which we never really got to. We wanted to play Jeffries head up. We challenged our guys to make them catch a step further out, where Haston couldn't throw his hook. We wanted to make him a jump shooter as opposed to a low post player."\n Haston, who shot 4-of-15 from the field, led the team with 18 points. He fouled out of the game with 1:04 remaining. Davis said IU was outmatched athletically at every position. Sergio McClain, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound senior forward, said Haston wasn't a concern in the second half.\n"We had a good game plan and we took (Haston) out of the game," McClain said. "He\'s a great player, and the shots weren't falling for him. He got in foul trouble, and he wasn't really a factor."\nAlthough the Hoosiers were stifled on the offensive end, they played one of their best defensive games against one of the nation's toughest teams. IU held its own in the first half and went to the locker room down by one point, 28-27. Junior guard Dane Fife was matched up with Illini junior guard Cory Bradford, who finished with zero points and missed all three shots he took.\n"It was our game plan to stop them on the defensive end, and once we do that, it gives us the opportunity on the offensive end to make some plays," Bradford said. "Fife is a good defensive player and a perfect example of a role player, but we got the better end today and played Illinois basketball the way we're capable of playing." \n \nHOOSIER NOTES\nThe 15 members of the men's basketball All-Century team were announced Saturday. The players were selected by fan voting throughout the state. The team members will be honored in post-game ceremonies after IU's final home game against Minnesota, Wed., Feb. 28. The members are: Steve Alford (1984-87), Damon Bailey (1991-94), Walt Bellamy (1959-61), Kent Benson (1974-77), Quinn Buckner (1973-76), Calbert Cheaney (1990-93), Archie Dees (1956-58), A.J. Guyton (1997-2000), Alan Henderson (1992-95), Bob Leonard (1952-54), Scott May (1974-76), George McGinnis (1971), Jimmy Rayl (1961-63), Don Schlundt (1952-55) and Isiah Thomas (1980-81).
Northwestern coach Bill Carmody was blunt, honest and somewhere between despair and hope at this year's Big Ten media day in Chicago. After four years as head coach at Princeton, where he guided the Tigers to the postseason every year, Carmody took the head coaching job with one of the worst teams in the Big Ten. And he knew it.\nThe Wildcats didn't win a single conference game last year (0-16) and have never made an NCAA tournament appearance. And until this Saturday, when Northwestern upset No. 14 Iowa 69-61, the Wildcats were on a 32-game losing streak in regular-season Big Ten games. \nNorthwestern (9-15, 1-10) hadn't won a regular-season conference game since beating Penn State Feb. 6, 1999. Carmody and the Wildcats will have a chance at their second conference win 8 p.m. today when Northwestern faces IU (16-9, 6-4) in Assembly Hall. \n"I can't understand why we can't succeed here except that we haven't succeeded here," Carmody said. "That's something I think you can overcome. It's happened at other places; let's let it happen here. I knew we weren't going to win that many games this year."\nUnlike Carmody, who knew he was entering the Big Ten from the bottom, interim head coach Mike Davis wasn't sure what to expect from the Hoosiers when he took over. Davis said the way IU played at the NIT in New York gave him doubts about whether the team could win 19 games this season. \nBut after three back-to-back wins and some tinkering with the lineup, Davis found himself in a tie for third place in the conference. There are six regular season games remaining, including today's, and two of the most difficult are on the road against Michigan State and Purdue.\n"If we take care of that (winning at home) that's 19 wins. We've come a long way as a basketball team," Davis said. "We have to go on the road and split Michigan State and Purdue. If we can do that, it will be a very good season for these guys."\nBut first, the Hoosiers have to win the remaining home games, beginning with the Wildcats. \n"I told the guards that they need to be ready to shoot the ball," Davis said. \nNorthwestern is led by sophomore forward Winston Blake, who averages 12.3 points per game. Sophomore guard Ben Johnson follows with an average of 10.3 points per game. Northwestern ranks last in the conference in scoring offense with an average of 59.5 points per game. The Wildcats are also last in the conference with a .381 field goal percentage.\nCarmody said one of the reasons recruiting is so difficult at Northwestern is because there is no winning tradition. \n"Indiana kids who are 10 years old want to go to IU, but I don't know who wants to go to Northwestern because of (basketball)," Carmody said. "How do you develop a tradition? By winning. \n"But how do you win if you don't have tradition? Somewhere along the line we're going to have to get a couple of real good players. We have enough guys around that are good players but maybe we're asking them to do too much"
Considering this season is a transition period for the men's basketball team, things could be much worse for the IU basketball program.\nIt could be Michigan's situation.\nTwo of the Wolverines' starting guards were benched in the first half for violating team rules, a key reserve guard didn't even make the trip because he also violated team rules, and Michigan turned the ball over 16 times in the first half -- not to mention IU handed the Wolverines their fourth consecutive loss Sunday, defeating them 72-59 before a crowd of 16,859 in Assembly Hall.\n"No one in this room thought we'd have a chance to win 19 games, but we've come a long way as a basketball team," interim head coach Mike Davis said. "I just hope the pressure doesn't mount on these guys." \nWith Iowa and Wisconsin both losing this weekend, the Hoosiers' win put them in a tie for third place in the Big Ten and improved their conference record to 6-4. The win was IU's third in a row. \nIt was also a career-high effort for junior center Kirk Haston, who scored 30 points on 8-of-21 from the field and hit all 11 of his free throws. Freshman forward Jared Jeffries also finished with a career high, scoring 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. The two combined for 77 percent of IU's offense.\nJunior guard Dane Fife said he realizes Davis wants more production on offense from the guards, who combined for 14 points. But the bottom line, Davis said, is that Haston and Jeffries are the team's go-to players.\n"If you take Michael Jordan out of the Bulls' mix, their team is nothing. Every team has to have scorers, and every team has to have role players," Fife said. "The fact is, those guys are our key scorers, and if they don't score, we're going to have a tough time winning."\nBut with Michigan starting guards Avery Queen and Bernard Robinson, Jr., on the bench in the first half for violating team rules, the Hoosiers had coasted to a 42-24 halftime lead.\nMichigan (9-13, 3-8) turned the game over in the first half as the Wolverines surrendered the ball 12 times in their last 19 possessions. IU began a 16-0 run at the 11:02 mark when the Hoosiers scored 12 unanswered points on six Michigan turnovers in six consecutive possessions.\nThe Hoosiers were down 12-5 at the 12:22 mark when Haston found his niche. He hit a three-pointer, followed it with two free throws and another three-pointer to inch IU within three. Sophomore guard Kyle Hornsby hit another three-pointer at the 10:06 mark to tie the score at 16.\n"I started off 0-for-5. I've started off better, but I ended up getting in a pretty good groove there for a little bit," Haston said. "My teammates kept feeding me the ball when I was open, the crowd got behind us and we followed the momentum."\nIU held Michigan scoreless for six minutes until guard Gavin Groninger made a three-point basket, bringing the score to 26-19. Guard Mike Gotfredson, who started the first half in place of Queen, didn't take any shots and had five turnovers in 17 minutes.\n"We had three kids that violated team rules, and those are the consequences," Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe said, unwilling to go into further detail. \nBut with Queen and Robinson, Jr. playing the second half, Michigan narrowed the gap by as much as seven with 3:17 remaining. IU was ahead 57-40 with 8:47 left in the game when Michigan went on an 8-0 run.\nThe IU defense held Michigan to 44 percent shooting from the field and 28.6 percent from beyond the three-point arc. Sophomore guard Tom Coverdale, who finished 0-of-6 from the field, said the win wasn't pretty, but it was still a confidence booster.\n"Our defense in the first half was excellent," Coverdale said. "Unfortunately, we didn't have the same intensity in the second half. But we held on and got the win"
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- When IU played Penn State Jan. 17 in Assembly Hall, junior guard Dane Fife played one of his best defensive games, shutting down Penn State guard Joe Crispin, one of the nation's most accurate shooters.\nA gritty performance from Fife on defense is hardly a surprise. \nBut interim head coach Mike Davis has been waiting patiently this season for Fife to show more consistency on offense.\nFife scored a career-high 15 points, including a career-high three three pointers Saturday on the way to IU's 85-78 overtime win against Penn State before 15,232 at the Bryce Jordan Center. The win improved the Hoosiers record to 5-4 in the conference while Penn State dropped to 3-6.\n"Dane was great," Davis said. "I told Dane last week he's playing like the backdoor All-American we want to see. He's getting better every game."\nFife, who averages five points per game, scored 12 points and led the team offensively in the first half, knocking down two three-pointers and making 5-of-6 from the field. The Hoosiers held Penn State to 20 percent shooting on 6-of-29 from the field. Crispin, the Lions leading scorer with an average of 20.8 points per game, was held to three points in the first half.\n"I just hit them tonight, that's the bottom line," Fife said. "The major thing is, we won."\nWith 3:40 left in the five-minute overtime period, Fife fouled Crispin and picked up his fourth foul. Crispin sank both free throws to tie the game at 67. Fife fouled out with 56.2 seconds left in the game.\n"It's very difficult (to play with four fouls), but I try not to pay attention to how many fouls I have and play my style of defense, and hopefully the refs won't give me a dirty call," Fife said.\nThe referees called a tight game inside, as four of IU's players finished with at least four fouls. Fife and freshman forward Jared Jeffries fouled out. Sophomore forward Jeffrey Newton and junior center Kirk Haston both finished with four personal fouls.\nPenn State senior guard Titus Ivory, who led the Nittany Lions with 26 points, finished with four fouls. Junior forward Tyler Smith fouled out with 1:11 left in overtime. But by the time Fife took a seat on the bench, the Hoosiers were ahead 76-72.\nDavis said Fife, who leads the team in steals with 33 and is second in assists with 72, doesn't need to score double figures every game to be an effective player.\n"He's feeling good offensively," Davis said. "If Dane could step it up like he's playing now, and not get 15, but just eight or 10, because he plays so hard defensively every night, boy his game could be really, really good"
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Although the Hoosiers are notorious for struggling on the road, junior center Kirk Haston found a sweet spot 550 miles east of Bloomington.\nLast February, he scored what was then a career-high 28 points against Penn State. Saturday, Haston was playing with four fouls and managed to score a career-high 29 points in IU's 85-78 overtime win against Penn State (13-7, 3-6 Big Ten) before a crowd of 15,232 at the Bryce Jordan Center. It was the first time the Hoosiers won back-to-back games on the road in the conference since the 1995-96 season.\n Of Haston's 29 points, there are three he won't forget.\n The Hoosiers squandered a 20-point first- half lead and found themselves down 65-62 with less than 30 seconds in regulation. Haston caught a pass from sophomore guard Kyle Hornsby on the left wing and nailed a three-pointer, sending the game into overtime.\nThe referees had to review the replay because he was close to the line. And the scoreboard still read 65-64.\nPenn State coach Jerry Dunn said he didn't want to draw a foul on Haston because he didn't want to give IU three free shots.\n"You have to make people make tough shots, and he made a tough shot," Dunn said. "I don't think there's anything wrong with that. If you haven't been a coach, it's easy to second-guess. But most coaches I know around the country would have played it the same way."\nHaston said that his opponents underestimated him from behind the arc and that he was playing with confidence. But the key to their win, he said, was composure, something IU lacked against Iowa and Minnesota when it forfeited substantial leads and eventually lost. IU gave up a 13-point lead two weeks ago at Iowa. Haston said it taught the team a lesson.\n"If we hadn't have gone through the Iowa game, we probably wouldn't have been able to compose ourselves as well as we did," Haston said. "If we're getting big wins down the stretch because of it, then it was worth it."\nThe Hoosiers (14-5, 5-4 Big Ten) led by as much as 20 in the first half and went to the locker room with a 40-22 lead. IU held Penn State to 20 percent from the field on 6-of-29 shooting. PSU senior guard Joe Crispin, the team's leading scorer with an average of 21.1 points per game, was held to three points in the first half. By that point, the fans in the Bryce Jordan Center were booing their own team.\nThat was the first half.\nThree of IU's starters were in foul trouble mid-way through the second half. Haston was on the bench with four fouls and the Hoosiers were clinging to a six-point lead. \nWhile Haston watched, Penn State went on a 15-0 run, taking the lead at 62-55 with less than five minutes in regulation. Haston came back in the game at the 6:24 mark. He ended the Hoosiers scoring drought around the three-minute mark with a three-pointer and then hit a jumper to bring IU within three.\n"I don't know what I did on two or three of those fouls, but I backed off a little bit and had to pick and choose when to be aggressive," Haston said. "Penn State at home is very tough and when you have guys that can shoot like (senior guard Titus) Ivory and Crispin, they're going to make runs.\n"We had some tough foul calls against us and it hurt (Jared) Jeffries' aggressiveness and my aggressiveness and put me on the bench. It's just one of those things you have to go through in the Big Ten."\nPenn State cut the lead to 12 in the first three minutes of the second half. With Crispin in a scoring drought, Dunn looked to senior forward Gyasi Cline-Heard and Ivory. The two combined to score 72 percent of Penn State's offense in the second half, scoring 31 of the Nittany Lions 43 second-half points.\nIvory led the team with 26 points and Cline-Heard finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds.\nIt wasn't until nine minutes into the second half that Crispin became a threat on offense. He sank 3-of-12 from beyond the arc, shot a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line and finished with 23 points.\nDavis said the Hoosiers lacked toughness on defense in the second half and took too many outside shots.\n"We took a couple of outside shots, 8 to10 feet out, when (Penn State) is not very good post-defense-wise," Davis said. "I wanted to go inside, and that was our game plan from the start. In the second half they doubled us and we weren't strong enough and tough enough to pass the ball back out.\n"We stood around again like we did at Iowa. They made baskets and we fouled like little girls instead of playing real tough. We have to get tougher. Loose balls, rebounds, passes, drives to the basket--we have to be tougher"
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- If looks could kill, Ohio State might have won the ball game. Ken Johnson, the Buckeyes' 6-foot-11 senior center, swatted a shot by sophomore forward Jeffrey Newton and then glared at him. \nIt was a look that said, "Try that again, I dare you."\nJohnson and the rest of his team challenged the Hoosiers from the tip-off, but IU answered and defeated OSU 70-67 before a crowd of 19,200 in Value City Arena. The win improved the Hoosiers conference record to 4-4 while Ohio State fell to 4-5.\nFor the first time this season, interim head coach Mike Davis didn't have to answer the postgame question, "How does it feel to be 0-11 outside Indiana?"\n"It feels good just winning a basketball game on the road, in the conference," Davis said. "We're way overdue, I mean way overdue. If we played the way we did tonight in the second half, we'd probably be in first place, but we're not."\nDavis said after Monday's practice he was planning to start junior guard Dane Fife at the point guard position, but about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, he changed his mind and kept sophomore guard Tom Coverdale in the spot.\nIt appeared to be a wise decision, as Coverdale scored 18 points and made 5-of-8 from three-point range. Junior center Kirk Haston, who was held to three points in the first half, also finished with 18 points and had a career-high five steals, including two in the final minute.\n"I made a couple of dumb plays on defense and got into a rush on offense," Haston said of his first-half performance. "The shots were there, I was getting the ball where I wanted, I was just rushing a little bit. Everyone on the team kept telling me to relax and that they need me in the second half."\nHaston answered the plea for help. He came out and scored seven of IU's first nine points in the second half, putting the Hoosiers up 40-36 around the 16-minute mark. But when the Hoosiers offense reached its peak in the second half, their defense broke down. IU had its biggest lead of the game in the second half at 52-44 when Ohio State took off on a 9-0 run.\nOhio State's Tim Martin sank four free throws and made a field goal in less than two minutes to bring the Buckeyes ahead 53-52 with 7:20 remaining.\nWhen the game got down to the wire, Haston came up big. The Hoosiers teetered on a 65-64 lead with 1:14 remaining in the game. Haston scored on a fastbreak layup and then snagged two consecutive steals and grabbed a defensive rebound. The final play of the game was a steal by Haston.\nIt was a 180-degree turnaround from his performance in the first half. Haston, the team's leading scorer with an average of 17.4 points per game, was held to 1-of-4 from the field in nine minutes of action in the first half.\nThat was only a small percentage of IU's offensive woes in the first half. The Hoosiers were held to 35.7 percent from the field on 10-of-28 shots.\nJust when it looked like things couldn't sink any lower for IU on the road (losers of 11 consecutive out-of-state games), the Hoosiers found themselves in the hole nine points, five minutes into the game. Ohio State opened with a 12-3 run, the Hoosiers' only point coming from Haston's three-point shot.\nBut Davis threw a twist into the game and the Hoosiers began to press. The turning point came around the four-minute mark of the first half, when the Hoosiers were down 24-16. Freshman forward Jared Jeffries and Coverdale combined to lead the team on an 8-0 run and from that point on, it was anyone's game.\nCoverdale hit a three-pointer with less than a minute remaining in the first half, giving IU it's first lead at 31-30. But OSU guard Brian Brown nailed a basket at the buzzer, sending the Buckeyes to the locker room with the one-point edge.\nJohnson, the Big Ten's leading shot blocker, finished with five blocks and 10 rebounds. Ohio State held IU to 42.6 percent from the field on 23-of-54 shots. But in the end, the Buckeyes came up short.\n"We needed this," Jeffries said. "There's a lot of pressure when you start losing, you start questioning yourself. But the coaches did a good job of preparing us for this game. We came out and played well"
Purdue coach Gene Keady stood with his hand on his hip, his mouth gaping.\nFife to Jeffries. Dunk.\nKeady crossed his arms and scowled.\nFife to Haston. Dunk.\nKeady screamed.\nThe Purdue coaching staff has seen this before: a heated, physical game between two teams that don't exactly call each other on weekends to say "hello."\nBoth interim head coach Mike Davis and assistant John Treloar have seen it before. But this year, things are different, and anyone who has watched IU for at least a year knows it. There's a whole new coaching staff and five players who have never experienced the tension of an IU-Purdue game.\nThese guys loved it, especially after defeating the Boilermakers 66-55 before a crowd of 17,288 Tuesday night in Assembly Hall.\nInterim assistant coach Julius Smith, a former assistant at Tulane, has stacks of taped IU-Purdue games. Every year he watched the intra-state rivalry to contrast the styles of play. This year, he said, he had the best seat in the house.\n"When I walked out, the whole place was wall to wall, packed like a sardine can," Smith said. "For me to be involved in this was an amazing experience."\nKeady said it was no big deal.\n"The crowd isn't nearly as loud as it normally is, but you can't let it get to you," he said. "I thought the crowd would be a lot louder.\n"Last year, they just ripped us."\nLike Smith, freshman forward Jared Jeffries has been watching the rivalry for years. As a resident of Bloomington, the reigning Indiana Mr. Basketball and the star of Bloomington High School North, Jeffries was practically raised on the duel. \n"There's more motivation to play harder," he said. "Every year I've lived in this town I've gone to this game. It feels different because I have an impact on how the outcome is going to be."\nThere's no question Jeffries contributed to the win. He finished with 14 points, six rebounds and made 8-of-11 from the free throw line. Junior forward Kirk Haston was the go-to man of the game, leading the team with 24 points, 15 rebounds, and 8-of-9 from the free throw line.\nFreshman guard A.J. Moye said he's one of the few people who entered the game blind to the intensity of the rivalry. But once he stepped on the court, Moye said, he could feel it. \n"I could sense the tension in the air. It almost felt like hatred out there," said Moye, who finished with six points and four rebounds. "It's totally on another level. It's almost like a high. It's unparalleled to anything I've felt this far this year."\nAs the Hoosiers ran off the floor at halftime, Treloar put his arm around freshman guard Andre Owens.\n"Slow down," he told the freshman.\nOwens had just missed a fast-break layup; on the previous possession, he was called for a player-control foul while driving to the basket. He was just pumped up.\n"As soon as I got out there it just seemed like it was life or death after every possession," Owens said. "Every time I get nervous, I play well. I like being nervous. The intensity was different from any other game we've played and that made it more interesting"
Sophomore Tom Coverdale is a basketball junkie from Noblesville, Ind., but the former Mr. Basketball couldn't bring himself to watch one game after Saturday's loss to Minnesota. \nAnd junior guard Dane Fife, who had his most productive offensive game against the Golden Gophers, said he never felt worse after a basketball game.\nSaturday's loss hit the Hoosiers hard. \nInterim head coach Mike Davis said the players were destroyed. They blame themselves for letting a 13-point lead slip away in the final three minutes. They blame themselves for a 2-3 Big Ten record. \nBut Fife and Coverdale said after Monday's practice that there is no better time to show resilience than tonight's game against intra-state rival Purdue at 7 p.m. in Assembly Hall.\nTonight's game goes beyond the storied rivalry. \nDavis said this is a must-win situation for IU. Thoughts of the postseason have soaked into his head. He is consumed with qualifying for the NCAA tournament. And Fife and Coverdale spoke for the team Monday when they said the team wants Davis back, permanently.\nPressure?\nDavis laughed.\n"We need to win (tonight) regardless of who you're playing because you want to be at .500 (in the Big Ten) to make the tournament. There's no way you can be under .500 and make the tournament," Davis said. \n"I know they want me to be here (next season), because we have a chance to be a really good basketball team next year, I mean a really good basketball team. This year, we're just fighting for our lives, but we're doing it as a basketball team, and we're getting better game by game."\nTonight's game against Purdue is the Hoosiers' last in Assembly Hall until Feb. 11 against Michigan. Taking that into consideration, IU has lost the last 10 games it's played outside the state this season.\nComing up are Iowa, Ohio State and Penn State, all away games. \nDavis said the team needs this win "just in case things fall apart on the road."\nBut in a rivalry such as this, Coverdale summed it up: All the records go out the window. \nPurdue is coming off a win against Northwestern and is in third place in the conference. IU wants to prove something.\n"The players were pretty down about that loss and the way we gave it away," Coverdale said. "If we can't get up for this game, we've got problems. I think we're going to be ready."\nThe Boilermakers have a 104-73 all-time edge against IU, but the Hoosiers had the final word last season. A.J. Guyton scored 17 points in IU's 79-65 win, a victory that knocked the Boilers out of first place in the conference.\nMuch has changed for the Hoosiers since Feb. 29, when former coach Bob Knight still held the reigns. In a rivalry where fans often watched the coaches as much as the players for the last 20 years, Fife said something will be lacking.\n"For the past (20) years it's been the same two coaches, so there will definitely be something missing," Fife said. "But there's always a lot of energy in these games, so you won't see a lot of difference, especially in these two games, in the way these two coaches act."\nOne man many IU fans won't miss tonight is Purdue graduate Brian Cardinal, a 6-foot-8 forward who led the Boilers in scoring, defensive rebounds, steals and free throws made last season.\nNow the spotlight is on junior forward Rodney Smith, a guy who said he likes to sing and write poetry in his spare time, read the Bible before games, and then go out and average 16.2 points per game.\nSophomore guard Kenneth Lowe, who averages 11.9 points per game, has earned a starting role this season after improving from 1.8 points per game last year. Lowe scored two points in three minutes against IU last year before suffering a mild head injury.\n"He could be our best player," Purdue coach Gene Keady said. "He really didn't assert himself last year."\nGuard Carson Cunningham is the only senior on Purdue's roster. He is not a big scorer, but Cunningham knows how to distribute the ball and find his teammates, averaging 4.8 assists per game.\nDavis said Minnesota's full court press in the final minutes of Saturday's game wasn't the major cause of the team's breakdown. He said it was the atmosphere, the crowd and the pressure.\nThe Hoosiers will have the home crowd advantage tonight, but Fife said he doesn't care where it happens.\n"We need a pick-me-up, and beating Purdue anywhere is always a good feeling, especially in this state," Fife said. "We definitely need a victory (tonight). We know how important this game is, believe me, we do"
When junior guard Dane Fife was a senior in high school, he used to watch Penn State senior guard Joe Crispin play on television.\nFor the last two years, Fife has had a closer view.\nWednesday, he was right in Crispin's face.\nFife had no problem holding the Big Ten's top scorer to 10 points in the Hoosiers 77-69 win against the Nittany Lions (11-4, 2-3) in front of 17,054 Wednesday night in Assembly Hall.\nIU (11-7, 2-2) led the entire game while Fife held Crispin to two points in the first half, both of them free throws. Crispin's season-low performance is 10 points, Nov. 29 at North Carolina State.\n"Fife is a warrior," interim head coach Mike Davis said. "He's going to guard the best guard on the team; and if the guy scores, it's going to be a hard-fought game for him. ... To hold Joe Crispin to zero field goals in the first half is a tremendous job."\nWith three minutes left in the game, Crispin was on the bench, and his team was down by 20 points. Penn State coach Jerry Dunn continually hopped out of his seat as if it was covered with shards of glass.\nNeither of them could do Penn State any good.\nBesides Fife's defense, freshman forward Jared Jeffries scored 15 points and had 13 rebounds in the first 20 minutes, helping IU to a 40-22 halftime lead.\n"The main thing was for me to get a hand up and contest (Crispin's) shots every time," Fife said. "The bottom line is, he just missed his shots tonight. He's not going to score big numbers every night, especially in the Big Ten. It's just not going to happen."\nAlthough junior forward Kirk Haston struggled in the first half, making two of eight from the field, he helped run up the score in the second half with 16 points. Haston was the Hoosiers' leading scorer with 22 points and 13 rebounds.\n"I was being a little bit impatient, and J.J. just played phemonenally," said Haston of his and Jeffries' first-half performances. "I knew in the second half that if he played as well as he did in the first half, they were going to have to start focusing in on him."\nJeffries, who finished with 15 points and 17 rebounds, scored 10 of IU's first 17 points. The Hoosiers jumped out quickly with a 10-0 run in the game's opening minutes, soon grabbing a 17-6 lead.\nPenn State's junior forward Tyler Smith broke the four-minute scoring drought with a three-point bucket nine and a half minutes into the game. But IU countered on an 8-0 run after Smith's shot, and the Hoosiers stretched the lead to 25-11. \nCrispin came out shooting in the second half, and, for about five minutes, it looked as if he had found his comfort zone. Crispin, an off-the-dribble shooter who averages 26 points per game in the conference, scored eight points in the first five minutes of the second half to keep the Nittany Lions within 10 points.\nBut Haston responded with a hook shot and scored 10 points in five minutes. Haston's scoring spurt began with a dunk at the 16:07 mark, followed by a layup and a dunk off a rebound at the 12:15 mark, widening the gap to 49-35. He received a technical for unsportsmanlike conduct when he forcefully shoved the ball to sophomore guard Jon Crispin, Crispin's brother.\nIt didn't put a dent in his momentum though, as Haston nailed a long jumper with less than five minutes remaining, putting the Hoosiers up 69-49. With about four minutes left in the game, Penn State was down by 20. But with 43.5 seconds left, the Nittany Lions had closed the gap to 10 points.\nPenn State was held to 35.4 percent from the field, making 23-of-65 shots. Davis said if the team continues to perform at that level on defense, it can beat anyone. Senior forward Gyasi Cline-Heard led the Lions with 23 points and eight rebounds.\n"I wanted to show a defense they haven't seen all year," Davis said. "I made a point to tell our guards, 'Don't allow yourself to be screened and make them make tough shots and tough passes. I feel we can beat any team if we come out and defend."
Junior guard Dane Fife said he realizes interim head coach Mike Davis wants more offensive productivity from the guards. But Fife said the IU guards aren't quick enough to create their own shots. He even said that maybe, just maybe, the guards "aren't clever enough" to create their own shots.\nThis could be a problem for the Hoosiers (10-7, 1-2 Big Ten) when they face Penn State (11-3, 2-2) and senior guard Joe Crispin, the conference's leading scorer, at 6 p.m. today in Assembly Hall. Crispin is an agile, off-the-dribble shooter averaging 26 points per game against the Big Ten, good for No. 6 in the nation.\nAnd Fife has been assigned to defend him.\n"Every team we play, we try to put me on their best shooter," Fife said. "That's something I love to do -- play defense and shut down players. Joe Crispin is going to be tough to guard, no question. Honestly, I haven't felt that any guy could score on me this year."\nThe Nittany Lions are second in the Big Ten in scoring offense, averaging 77.3 points per game. IU is ranked 10th in the conference in scoring offense, averaging 56.3 points per game. Three seniors, including Crispin, lead Penn State's starting lineup and account for 68 percent of the team's offense.\nSenior forward Gyasi Cline-Heard averages 13.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game and guard Titus Ivory averages 15.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.\n"The three of us are definitely going to be the focal point as far as leadership and productivity are concerned," Crispin said. "I think we're heading in the right direction this year. I've been here three years, and every year I'm kind of wishy-washy. This year is different. I'm confident."\nCline-Heard leads the team with 27 blocks. Tyler Smith and sophomore Jon Crispin, Joe's brother, complete Penn State's probable starting lineup.\nThe Hoosiers have won the last seven games against Penn State, but Davis said one more series win will not be easy. He jokingly said an easy shot for Penn State could be as long as 30 feet.\n"They have three guys who can shoot the basketball well. We've got to really get into them defensively and stay on top of them, not give them open shots or open looks," Davis said. "Two losses is not bad, but it is if you're under .500. We can control our own destiny right now"
After a nail-biting win against No. 1-ranked Michigan State Sunday, the Hoosiers hit an emotional high. Now, interim head coach Mike Davis said he needs the team to come down immediately and focus on Michigan, 7 p.m. today in Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor.\nDavis has his mind set on a winning season, and he said defeating Michigan is the next step.\n"My goal is, believe it or not, is to finish in the top three in the Big Ten, and I want to win 10 games in the Big Ten," Davis said. "Michigan will come out and play hard. They need a win, and so do we. As a basketball coach, it's my job to make sure they're (the Hoosiers) prepared for the next game."\nMichigan (6-6, 0-1) and IU (10-6, 1-1) both began the Big Ten season with losses. The Wolverines' four-game winning streak ended Jan. 3 with an 80-60 loss against Purdue. Michigan had 20 turnovers that game and was held to 40.7 percent from the field.\nBut the most significant loss for Michigan this season is that of guard Jamal Crawford, who opted for the NBA last year after being suspended by the NCAA. Crawford was sidelined during the final 12 games of last season. Without him, Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe's team went 3-9 in that final stretch.\nLike the Hoosiers, the Wolverines are a young team. Michigan forward Josh Asselin (10.6 ppg) is the only senior on the team, leaving much of the workload to newcomers. Freshman forward Bernard Robinson, Jr. averaged 15.4 points in 11 starts.\nMuch is expected from sophomore forward LaVell Blanchard, last year's Big Ten Freshman of the Year. He averages 17.2 points and eight rebounds per game.\nOffense has not been a problem for Michigan. Defense has. The Wolverines are again ranked last in the conference in scoring defense, giving up an average of 82.3 points this season.\n"It's no secret we were last in the league, but that only becomes an issue when you're not winning," Ellerbe said of last season. "We were leading the league in scoring and that wasn't an issue. That doesn't bother me as much because I knew we were so young and so inexperienced, and the strength factor plays such a part in this league. We've spent more time on defense and we expect to improve in that area."\nHOOSIER NOTES:\nJunior forward Kirk Haston was named Big Ten Player of the Week after hitting the game-winning three-point shot against Michigan State Sunday. It is the second time Haston earned the award this season, as he was honored after his performance of 28 points and 14 rebounds against Pepperdine.\nMIA\nFreshman forward George Leach was not on the IU bench against Michigan State Sunday because of a death in the family. He will return to the court tonight.\nTIME CHANGE:\nThe IU-Minnesota game Jan. 20 at Minnesota will be played at 11:47 a.m. CST instead of 11:17 a.m.
SOUTH BEND -- Junior Notre Dame forward Troy Murphy is no secret. It's hard to hide a 6-foot-11 player who averages 26.8 points and nine rebounds per game, and the Hoosiers (4-3) knew their defense would be crucial against the No. 10-ranked Irish (4-1).\nFreshmen forwards Jared Jeffries and Jeffrey Newton shared the role of covering Murphy with junior forward Kirk Haston in Tuesday night's 86-78 upset against Notre Dame in the Joyce Center.\nIU was able to slow Murphy and the three players combined to frustrate the reigning Big East Player of the Year. Murphy finished with a season-low 15 points and was held to 3-of-8 for 10 points from the field in the first half.\n"I feel that defensively, we can compete with anyone," Interim head coach MikeDavis said. "Murphy is a really good basketball player, and we talked about defending him in the post and Jeffries and Newton getting a hand up in his face."\nJeffries and Newton came through, holding Murphy to only two field goals in the second half. Jeffries, who had 14 points and a block, said a player his size should be able to defend anyone.\n"He might be the best player in America, and if I can slow him down and help the team, I will," Jeffries said. "I feel I can stop anyone."\nNewton, who leads the team with 18 blocked shots, finished with three against the Irish. He said he's been looking forward to the matchup with Murphy since the beginning of the season.\n"It gives you a good sense of where you're at," Newton said. "We were always trying to find where he was at all times."\nWhile strong defense is nothing new for Jeffries and Newton, Haston is a strong needs to sharpen his defense skills, Davis said. Tuesday was Haston's first time back on the court since the Indiana State game Nov. 29 and the first time he wasn't in the starting lineup.\nHaston sat on the bench for the entire game against Southern Illinois because he has a minor injury to a toe. Haston could've played then, Davis said, but he thought it was the perfect opportunity for Haston to learn from a strong defensive performance from Jeffries and Newton.\n"That put pressure on Haston to come out and really work defensively," Davis said. "Offensively, he's really good, but we need tough, hard-nosed defense. Sometimes you can learn a lot from just sitting there and watching. Sometimes when you sit and watch, it will help."\nBy the second half, Haston was assigned to watch senior forward Ryan Humphrey, Notre Dame's second leading scorer with an average of 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Humphrey led the team with 17 points.\nThe defense held the Irish to 38 percent from the field and has held its opponents to 39.5 percent from the field this season.\nThis is only the third Hoosier squad since 1967 that has held opponents under 40 percent from the field. Last year's team did it (38.8 percent) and the 1971-1972 team did it (39.8 percent).
It's gotten to the point where the University of Notre Dame athletics department decided to give Troy Murphy his own Web site, complete with a diary, photo gallery, quotes, bio and stats -- everything an Irish fan would tear right into, short of the guy's shoe size.\nAnd why wouldn't they? The Irish boast a forward who is arguably the Big East's premiere player, a junior who made 20 double-doubles last year and who is a candidate for this year's National Player of the Year award. And tonight, the Hoosiers will make him their target when they face Notre Dame at 9 p.m. in the Joyce Center in South Bend.\nInterim head coach Mike Davis stated the obvious: The only way to stop Murphy is to defend him.\n"Troy Murphy is going to score. We'll just make it tough on him and at the same time play," Davis said. "We have to play defense on the other end. I feel we can compete against anyone right now with the concentration that we have and the effort that we're giving."\nDespite three losses before the Hoosiers' 85-63 win Saturday against Southern Illinois, defense has not been a glaring problem. IU (3-3) has held the opposition to a 39.5 field goal percentage, and the Hoosiers have not allowed more than 10 field goals in a half this season. \nBut the No.11-ranked Fighting Irish (3-0) are a high-caliber team, especially with a frontcourt including Murphy, who is averaging 28 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.7 blocked shots per game, and forward Ryan Humphrey, who averages 17.3 points per game. Guard David Graves, who averages 15.5 points per game, could also create some problems.\n"Any time you come off a win, you've got confidence, and we're definitely going to need that going into Notre Dame," junior guard Dane Fife said. "It's going to be a tough place to play. They've got some good players. I've known Troy for about three years now and he's a tough kid. He plays hard and he knows the game."\nJunior forward Kirk Haston is expected to return to the starting lineup tonight after sitting out Saturday because of an injury to his left toe. Haston leads the Hoosiers with 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. He and freshman forward Jared Jeffries (13.7 points per game) have accounted for 41.7 percent of the team's total offense this season.\nBut like IU, Notre Dame's defense is also one of its strengths. The Fighting Irish have held their opponents to 35 percent from the field this season and give up an average of 62 points. At the same time, Notre Dame is scoring an average of 89 points and has a legitimate chance at the Big East title this season.\nThe Hoosiers have won the last five games against the Irish and have earned a 44-19 series record. Last year, it took overtime for IU to defeat Notre Dame, 81-64. But that was with former coaches Bob Knight and Matt Doherty.\nThis is the first time the two teams will meet with new coaches. Former Delaware coach Mike Brey took the position after Doherty left to coach at North Carolina. Brey has also coached as an assistant under Duke's Mike Krzyzewski.\nDavis said his team has finally come to understand his coaching style and said he's confident a win tonight is possible.\n"Notre Dame will be a tough task because right now they're really feeling good about themselves," Davis said. "But at the same time, I feel like we can go in there and get a win, I really do. If we can defend and run and our guards can take shots and knock them down, it will give us a chance"
John Laskowski, a former IU basketball player, said he has applied for the position of athletics director. An 18-member search committee headed by Vice President for Administration Terry Clapacs is seeking a replacement for athletics director Clarence Doninger, who is retiring June 30.\nThe committee is reviewing resumes and letters of recommendation before selecting finalists for interviews. Applications are being accepted until Jan. 1.\nDoninger, who has held the position since 1991, falls under the University's mandatory retirement policy, which states that executives and high policy makers "shall be required to retire ... when the individual holding the position has attained the age of 65." \nLaskowski is in his 22nd year of broadcasting IU basketball for the IU Television Network and has been host of "The Cam Cameron Show" for the past four years. He said he is a qualified candidate because he knows what the athletic program needs. \n"No.1, I'm a fan of Indiana. No. 2, I'm a graduate. And No. 3, I'm a guy who's been around here 30 years," Laskowski said. "If I were selected, it would be a transition that I'm already used to doing, working here at the University."\nIn addition to his broadcast work, Laskowski has worked for the last six years as the vice president of marketing and membership of the Alumni Association. He has a degree in business and said that one of his major areas of concentration would be increased football attendance. He said he would also like to see more promotion of women's sports.\nLaskowski is 47 and said that is a benefit because it gives him ample time to create and achieve goals.\n"A lot of things that happen at a university take a long time to take place," Laskowski said. "I have a long time to set some goals at five, 10 even 15 years and then hand it off to the next guy."\nDoninger said he cannot comment on any of the applicants.\n"The process is going on, so for me to comment on any applicants would be inappropriate at this time," Doninger said. "They'll seek some input from me, but I'm sure there will be a lot of candidates, internal and external, and a lot of quality people. The selection committee will do a good job."\nDoninger said no progress has been made regarding choosing a permanent head basketball coach. A new athletics director must be hired first. Laskowski, who also hosts "The Mike Davis Show," said that if he were to receive the position, he didn't know who he would appoint head coach.\n"That's too far down the road," Laskowski said. "The good Lord gives you a day at a time. I'm going to try my best to help this University in anyway I can, and if it's being the next athletics director, then that's what I want to do." \nBut looking to a decision on a new men's basketball coach is too far away, Laskowski said.\n"When it comes time to say we need to get a permanent coach," Laskowski said, "we'll attack that then"
TERRE HAUTE -- Interim head coach Mike Davis said he's been putting too much pressure on freshman forward Jared Jeffries and that he had unfair expectations for the former Bloomington North Star. But the entire game against Indiana State Wednesday fell on Jeffries' shoulders. \nHe heaved a shot from half court at the buzzer and it bounced off the backboard and rim before IU lost 59-58 to Indiana State before a sell-out crowd of 10,200 Wednesday at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute. \n"I just barely missed it," Jeffries said. "I wanted to shoot from that spot I shot from and I thought it was going to go in but it was a bit long." \nWith five seconds remaining in the game and IU ahead 58-56, ISU guard Michael Menser hit a three pointer to give the Sycamores the win. \nIt was only the second time the Hoosiers had lost to ISU since 1974, and Davis said it was especially disappointing since the Sycamores knocked IU out of the Ameritech/Indiana Classic last year. \n"It was just one or two stops down the stretch," Davis said. "We make one or two stops and we win and I go home happy. But there's a next time and there's a next game." \nThe Hoosiers were down 51-48 with 5:26 remaining in the second half when Jeffries made a layup and completed a three-point play for the second time on the night. Jeffries was fouled a second time by Sycamore forward Matt Renn and made the second shot, giving the Hoosiers their first lead since early in the first half. Jeffries led the team with 19 points and nine rebounds. "I try to really work inside and draw fouls and get to the free throw line," he said. "I'm doing a little bit better." \nOne of the biggest problem areas for the Hoosiers in their last two losses has been free throws. In the first half Wednesday, Jeffries was the only player to step to the free throw line, making four-of-six shots. He finished with 9-of-12 and the team made 11-of-15 from the charity stripe. \nDavis said the one thing the Hoosiers couldn't do was go into halftime down by a significant margin. IU turned the ball over 12 times in the first half and trailed 36-26 at the break. The only player on the roster without a miscue in the first half was sophomore forward Jeffrey Newton. After junior forward Jarrad Odle turned the ball over with 6:38 remaining in the half, ISU began a 14-3 run, providing the Sycamore's halftime cushion. \n"Anytime we get off to that kind of a start it hurts us, but I don't think it's going to be an ongoing issue," said junior guard Dane Fife. "We got off some good shots, but we've got to get better and we're getting better. I can feel us getting better." \nIU led 12-9 at the 12:15 mark in the first half, the last lead for the Hoosiers until the second half. Six minutes into the second half, sophomore guard Tom Coverdale made a layup, sparking an 11-1 run, putting the Hoosiers ahead 37-36. \nThe IU defense held until the 9:40 mark when ISU forward Djibril Kante made a dunk, bringing the Sycamores within one. The score was tied at 46, when sophomore guard Kyle Hornsby fouled Sycamore Kelyn Block, who made his first free throw, missing the second. ISU regained the lead 48-46 when Menser made a layup at the 7:40 mark. Menser led the Sycamores with 14 points, three rebounds and seven assists. \nFife said ISU's motion offense gave them the most trouble. \n"It was designed to wear a team down until you get a good shot and early on they got it into the post a lot and their post guys did a nice job of putting it into the basket," Fife said. "I thought we were focused for the game. (But) we forced things a little too much tonight"